Cocoa has a wild-type origin in the tropical forests of Central and South America.
The origin of cocoa is from Central America and Mexico, discovered by the native Aztecs and Mayans. But today most tropical countries can also plant this tree.
The middle-class evergreen tree, 4-8 m high (15-26 ft), often intercropped under other trees, such as in the coconut gardens, rubber trees, forest gardens. .. available to increase land use efficiency.
Cocoa beans are used as ingredients in the food industry, including some of high economic value such as chocolate, cocoa powder, etc.
The most widely cultivated cocoa species in the world are Crillo and Forastero, but the most common are Trinitario, which is bred from the two species.
The price of cocoa in the world in recent years is estimated to be relatively stable, ranging from $ 1,300-1,500 per ton.
1. Cocoa helps prevent the risk of memory loss
Scientists at Harvard Medical School say drinking two cups of hot chocolate a day can help keep the brain healthy and prevent memory loss in the elderly by protecting brain blood circulation.
The team conducted memory tests and thinking skills on 60 elderly people before and after drinking two cups of hot cocoa daily for 30 days. Half of the participants will use high-content flavanols and the other half will use flavanols with low content.
The results show that people with poor blood circulation have a significant improvement in memory and brain function after regular consumption of cocoa containing standard flavanols.
2. Cocoa helps lower blood pressure
Results from some trials suggest that consuming dark chocolate or cocoa can help lower blood pressure significantly in people with high blood pressure. Even small amounts of about 6 grams of black chocolate also lower blood pressure, compared to eating a similar amount of white chocolate, but they do not work because they do not contain beneficial substances like black chocolate.
3. Eating cocoa can help you improve your mathematical mindset
Foods that contain high levels of cocoa flavanol are proven to increase blood flow to the brain, thereby improving thought-intensive activity.
In a study of 30 adults, the results showed that in high-flavono-alcoholated cocoa days, these people performed better and felt better than those who did not drink. . So, when you encounter a difficult math problem, try to sip a piece of black chocolate.
4. Cocoa helps improve chronic fatigue syndrome
Researchers from the Hull York School of Medicine show that people with chronic fatigue syndrome have significantly improved their symptoms when eating dark chocolate, in stark contrast to those who use milk chocolate with the coating. Brown. They hypothesize that this is due to an increase in serotonin, a chemical in the brain, through polyphenols found in black chocolate.
And to add to the assurance, none of the participants were weighted during the study. So, if you have chronic fatigue syndrome and know what effect cocoa do not forget to add black chocolate to your daily diet.
5. Cocoa helps improve bowel disease and can prevent the risk of colon cancer
Animal studies show that cocoa can help prevent intestinal pain or bowel disease, and may even reduce the risk of colon cancer.
Scientists from the Institute of Food Science and Technology (ICTAN) found that mice – when given a diet rich in cocoa, are less likely to be affected by changes in bowel cancer. And there are no signs of cell damage.
Although more research is needed on cocoa powder, a small cup of cocoa or a small piece of black chocolate every day will help improve your bowel habits.
6. Cocoa helps improve cardiovascular health
Just like with lowering blood pressure, a test of 42 trials in 1200 patients has also shown that flavanol in cocoa reduces the amount of insulin and choresterol ‘bad’, thereby reducing the risk of heart disease and vascular disease. heart attack and stroke.
In addition, flavanol compounds in cocoa and chocolate also help increase blood circulation, reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
7. Cocoa reduces the risk of diabetes
In another study of the effects of cocoa, 100 people with diabetes were given cocoa and milk, or only milk; Twice a day for 6 weeks. The results show that people who drink milk and cocoa have low levels of cholesterol and inflammation, helping to reduce the risk of health threats.
8. Cocoa can protect your liver
Animal studies have shown that daily cocoa use can reduce fatty liver due to high fat diets. Fatty liver disease is increasing due to obesity and in some cases progression to cirrhosis. So, if you are losing weight, drinking a cup of cocoa before going to bed will be good for your liver.
9. Cocoa can help reduce stress
The Vavista Experience program says that stress increases the craving for chocolate, more specifically, cravings for sugar and fat. However, there is some evidence that eating 28 grams or half a gram of black chocolate a day can reduce stress hormones and anxiety in people who are often stressful.
10. Cocoa can help control weight
When tested in mice for the relationship between weight and cocoa effects, those with a diet rich in cocoa weigh less than those who received cocoa substitutes.
In general, there is no denying the benefits that the antioxidants in cocoa bring to our health. However, the steps of cocoa processing can affect the effect of cocoa, namely the amount of antioxidants remaining until the body consumes chocolate. These steps include fermentation and roasting of cocoa beans and alkaline treatment.
The process of alkaline treatment to reduce the bitterness of cocoa powder as a raw material for processing beverages, pastries and biscuits. This process can take up to 98% of epicatechin – one of the important oxidants in cocoa powder.